This is a discussion on Squadron Leader within the Pipe Related Reviews forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Thanks to a very generous package from User Name I was able to give Squadron Leader a try.
In the ...
Thanks to a very generous package from User Name I was able to give Squadron Leader a try.
In the bag, it smells like a light to medium English. You can smell the smokey goodness of the latakia. It is a brighter color than I'm used to from most English blends- a lot less latakia and dark stoved Virginias, a lot more bright Virginias.
I smoked it out of my sandblasted Hardcastle Prince (quickly becoming one of my 4 or 5 favorite pipes out of about 30- I think I may have to do a pipe review soon). An English pipe, in a very classy, very English shape, just seemed appropriate for a very English style blend.
Squadron Leader is a very easy tobacco to smoke. It is mellow and smooth, a little creamy, and an all around agreeable tobacco. I got the nice sweet taste I have come to expect from an English blend with latakia and Virginia tobaccos. It was tasty, with a very mild dose of latakia, definitely not overpowering like some can be. It would be a great tobacco for someone new to English blends if it wasn't quite as hard to come by. In fact, if it was easier to obtain, it may beat out 4noggins Bald Headed Teacher as my recommendation for smokers new to English latakia blends.
It lit pretty easily and only needed one relight (the wide but short bowl of the Prince shape pipe may have helped though, hard to be sure). It did smoke a little wet and I needed to run a pipe cleaner down the stem a couple times.
I smoked it outside so it is hard to comment on the aroma, but I tried to waft as much smoke towards my face as I could. I found the smell quite pleasing, and if you like an English you probably will too. I don't know if your friends, significant other, and other bystanders would agree or not.
My overall verdict, good to very good. I'm not sure it is worth all the hype, but I suppose that is inevitable with a very good tobacco that is this hard to find (it is bound to be a favorite for a lot of people, a lot of others will really like it, and you can only indulge your taste for it once in a while). I can see buying it from time to time, though I may actually pass this time (there seems to still be a little out there to be had from the last shipment). That is not to say I'm disappointed, it even reminds me a bit of one of my favorites, Bald Headed Teacher (it is probably even a bit better than BHT). If it was regularly available, I'd definitely buy some, and I'd probably buy a tin now. Being so limited in availability, and it not blowing me out of the water like Penzance did, I'll wait for next time (it is good, but I can wait). Heck, even with the limited availability, I'd probably buy a tin if they were available right now instead of the 250g boxes.
Not a lot to add, but I've had a few more bowls of it. My original thoughts are basically confirmed, it is a really good mild to medium English blend. I really like it. If it was readily available it would be a regular part of my rotation, probably one of those I permanently keep on hand. However, I'm not sure it quite lives up to the hype (though it is among the best), and with the limited availability I'll probably not go out of my way going crazy trying to find some, but anytime I see it at a local B&M I will pick it up.